Wednesday October 23, 2019 5:01 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple will shorten Japan Display's payment periods in an effort to improve the panel supplier's short-term financing situation, reports Reuters, citing a source familiar with the matter. JDI CEO Minoru Kikuoka, who took on the role in September, told reporters on Wednesday that concerns about an immediate cash shortfall had been allayed but did not mention Apple by name. Japan Display still owes Apple nearly $900 million for the $1.5 billion cost of building a smartphone screen plant four years ago and the U.S. tech giant is also allowing the supplier to slow the pace of those repayments. The agreement to ease payment conditions, which also includes agreements from other business partners, would improve JDI's short-term financing situation by as much as 40 billion yen ($370 million), said Kikuoka. JDI recently lost out on Chinese funds from a key investment firm leading a proposed bailout deal, but Apple reportedly agreed to double its own investment to aid in the LCD panel maker's restructuring. JDI relies on Apple for more than half of its sales, and supplies the liquid crystal display panels for the iPhone 11, which has helped support its bottom line. However, its mainstay LCD business has been hit heavily by the growing adoption of OLED panel technology.